Appendix 2: Background Information
1 The Joint Committee on Promotion of Continuing Professional Development of Social Workers (the Joint Committee) acquired the mission from the Joint Working Group on Continuing Professional Development of Social Workers (the Joint Working Group) in 2004 and had tried to establish and operate a system for the purpose of promoting continuing professional development of social workers. It had also tried to explore different means to seek funding to finance a string of work plans which included (a) launching a survey on employing agencies’ CPD policies on and RSWs’ attitude and behaviour towards CPD; (b) producing a CPD resources package for NGOs; (c) developing a web-site for circulation of CPD-related information; and (d) and appointing personnel to implement the Joint Committee’s projects. Unfortunately, the Joint Committee did not succeed in securing a source of funding and hence was unable to bring the matter forward.
2 Launching legislative amendments to the Ordinance at the time to embody professional development as one of her functions, the Board took over the unfinished tasks of the Joint Committee in July 2006, aiming at putting the work plans into practice with a legal mandate after the Ordinance is amended. The legislation process of the proposed amendments, however, had been stuck since the Board submitted its proposal to the then Health, Welfare and Food Bureau. Recognizing the pressing need for providing RSWs with general guidelines to achieve CPD goals while trying to push the Labour and Welfare Bureau to put forth the proposed amendments to the Legislative Council, members of the Board reached a consensus to make the plans concrete by introducing a CPD scheme to RSWs as soon as possible.
3 There have been discussions in the field over the past years on whether there should be a mandatory CPD scheme or a voluntary CPD scheme for RSWs. The mixed responses to the surveys conducted by the Board and the Joint Working Group between 2001 and 2004 did not help any party draw a conclusion. From the latest survey launched by the Board in early 2009, however, over 70 percent of the respondents supported that CPD of RSWs should be voluntary. After careful deliberation and repeated discussions, the Board decided to take the first step to implement the CPD of the social work profession by working out a voluntary CPD system.
4 The suggestions set out in the Scheme are by no means requirements but intended to provide RSWs with directions and benchmarks for pursuing both professional and personal development. RSWs are encouraged to take those suggestions as yardsticks and make efforts to attain or even surpass the proposed standards.
 The Joint Committee on Promotion of Continuing Professional Development of Social Workers was set up in October 2004. The three participating organizations, the HKCSS, HKSWA and SWRB assigned two representatives to sit in the Joint Committee. The Social Welfare Department also assigned one Chief Social Work Officer to sit in as an observer. The Joint Committee was disbanded in July 2006.
 The Joint Working Group on Continuing Professional Development of Social Workers was set up in March 2003. Its member organizations included the Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS), the Hong Kong Social Workers Association (HKSWA), the Hong Kong Social Workers’ General Union and the Social Workers Registration Board (SWRB). Each member organization has assigned two representatives to sit in the Joint Working Group. The Joint Working Group was disbanded in October 2004 after completing an opinion survey and consultation on its proposed CPD scheme.